June 10, 2021

I have been faced by mystery in my back yard several times over the last two years.  Several days ago, I wrote about how the suet feeder I keep in the back yard had been robbed.  I blamed the squirrels for knocking the feeder open and then running off with the suet cake.  Although I had no proof, I assumed that was the most logical conclusion.  When I went out to my feeders today, I thought something was different, but could not place what it was.  Then I realized the suet feeder was no longer hanging from its pole.  I again assumed that being unable to open the feeder (I fastened it differently), the squirrels had knocked it to the ground.  When I looked for it, the feeder was no where to be seen.  Now it was no longer just a mystery, it was an enigma.

Another mystery involves my finch feeder.  I purchased the feeder in mid-summer with the hope of attracting the colorful birds to my yard.  I filled it and placed it in an unobstructed location.  The feeder sat in my yard untouched for the rest of the year.  It was not until last winter that the finches began to eat the thistle.  As the spring wore on, I had literally dozens of birds of different varieties fighting over the feeder at the same time.  The feeder has been vacant for the last two weeks.  When I looked online, I believe I resolved this mystery.  finches are migratory and move north to south and back during the fall and spring seasons.  The abundant birds have probably just moved on and my feeder will likely remain mostly uneaten until they return in the fall.

Last summer I also wrote about the tube mystery in our pool.  I kept getting pale brown tubes floating on the surface of the pool.  These were around 12 inches long and a good half inch in diameter.  I ruled out dead flower stocks or some sort of trash blown in by the wind after fishing them out of the pool and examining them.  I finally realized they were large earthworms when I came across a live one in the front of our house.  The ones in the pool had fallen into the water, drowned, and had then swelled in the water.  This mystery kept me wondering for several weeks.

Thoughts:  While I felt sheepish not realizing the mystery of the dead worms, I have found out I am not alone.  I am on a community chat site and a woman in our subdivision wondered if small brown snakes had been showing up in others houses (another also said they were).  She has had several inside and her husband has had to kill them for her (should have used them for bait instead).  While I knew the answer to her mystery, I did not want to embarrass her by saying they were worms.  Luckily, there was another woman on the chat who had no problem making fun of her fear of worms.  Mystery can cause fear because we do not know the answer to the situation we face.  That was true during the influenza pandemic in 1918 and the covid pandemic in 2020.  While they are still lethal, vaccines have since been developed for both and there is less of a mystery.  Knowing the answer to a mystery only helps if you take the steps necessary to resolve it.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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